GAYDON, U.K. – Aston Martin promises a £500 million ($647 million) investment in boosting production of its luxury high-performance cars to meet increased demand in Japan following the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European single market.
The investment, announced by company President and CEO Andy Palmer during British Prime Minister Teresa May’s “Brexit” visit to Tokyo, will cover the next five years of its Second Century business plan.
Highlights of the announcement include:
- Aston Martin exports from its Gaydon and St. Athan, U.K., plants will be worth more than £400 million ($517 million), boosted by new sports cars and the introduction of the automaker’s first SUV.
- The company will buy more than £70 million ($90 million) in components from Japanese suppliers including Bridgestone, Denso, Mitsubishi and Yazaki.
- It will create a bespoke Aston Martin Meta Technology and Luxury Accelerator office in Japan to open in 2018.
- Japanese investments will include a flagship global brand center in Tokyo, a new Japanese headquarters and further growth of the Aston Martin dealer network across the country.
“As we prepare to leave the European Union, it is vital that we build on our existing ties with friends and allies,” May says. “Aston Martin is a prime example of the innovative and world-leading firms the U.K. is proud of, and I’m delighted they are joining me on this important trade mission.
“Aston Martin’s £500 million deal will directly benefit the Gaydon plant in West Midlands and the St. Athan plant in Wales, helping safeguard existing jobs and opening new possibilities for future deals with Japan.”
Palmer adds: “Last week we unveiled our half-yearly results, which saw Aston Martin register its third successive quarter of pretax profit. Our improving performance reflects rising demand for our new and special products.
“As the world’s second-largest luxury-car market, Japan is key to our future plans as we completely revitalize and expand our product portfolio under our Second Century plan. We have long enjoyed a loyal following from Japanese customers and the public alike, with our new dealership in Tokyo set to become our largest worldwide by volume.
“To ensure we are focused on the needs of Japanese and Asian customers, we are creating a Meta Technology and Luxury Accelerator office in Tokyo, reporting directly to HQ, to develop insights into luxury customer behavior in Asia,” Palmer says. “This advanced product planning office is being created specifically to tap into research and technologies in the electric- and connected-car areas as well as the innovations Japan is making in the luxury market.”
The automaker forecasts that between now and the conclusion of the Second Century plan in 2022 Aston Martin sales will more than double, making Japan one of the company’s top five global markets by volume.